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In the first of a weekly dispatch, our teacher heroine is having an identity and an ideological crisis and she hasn't, repeat, hasn't been dumped, right?

Dear Bex,

So what do you know, it's the start of a new term at Croftwell Specialist Technology College and the kids have got louder, the staff (if possible) have got freakier, and the confiscated mobile phones are already stacking up in the staffroom. Moved out of Pete's (by "mutual agreement") and am now flat-sharing with an immaculately-groomed female lawyer from Staines. On her suggestion, I ditched the smock tops and wedges for a choppy crop and skinny jeans. My new look is turning heads.

Well, a head. No sooner had I popped my Topshop hold-all on the staffroom floor than Steve from PE looked up with a grunt (he was reading I knew because I could practically hear the brain cells popping) and growled: "Nice haircut, been dumped?" I spluttered that this wasn't technically true the fact I ended the relationship at high volume in a Walkabout while Pete was snogging the face off a Mexican language student doesn't detract from the fact it was I who did the dumping. But he blanked me (apparently Harry Potter is that interesting) so I stormed off to the kitchenette in a huff.

Surprise of the day: we've got a new headteacher. Shame, as I was just getting into "Shagger" Bennett's good books. Turns out he's been "disappeared" by the council pending investigation into financial irregularities (for which read a black hole in the budget the size of Norway) and they've drafted in a ball busting super-head from the church school over the road. She hauled us into assembly and announced we were going to: "spend the term creating outstanding learning environments that actualise our children's potential". I asked Annette from French for a translation. It means "we're up sh*t creek".

First lesson of the term was English with Form 9B, and little Owen Martin asked if I'd had a sex change in the holidays. I issued him with an immediate detention, then made a mental note to buy hair extensions. Bet things aren't this bad in the sunny environs of the Kuala Lumpur Academy, right?

Love Kate x

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